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SYNOPSIS OF CHARACTERS BOOK X

1. Galen offers a general treatment strategy for fevers. There are three primary factors to be considered—the magnitude of the fever, its cause, and the patient’s capacity. Which of these is given primary importance depends on the circumstances. If the patient’s capacity is strong and the cures of the fever itself and its cause coincide, there is no problem. If, however, there are conflicting indications, judgment must be exercised.

2. Consideration is given to ephemeral fevers and the causes of these becoming longer in duration (oligohemeral or polyhemeral). Much will depend on whether the cause of the fever remains, and this in turn will depend, at least in part, on the skill of the doctor. Certain causes, like heatstroke, are by their nature transient. However, when there is significant blockage of the skin pores adversely affecting transpiration, the cause is likely to remain. The patient’s capacity, of little importance as an indicator in the ephemeral fevers, becomes significant in the chronic fevers.

3. Galen presents a very detailed case report about a young man with a prolonged fever. The focus is on the patient’s capacity and the timing of nourishment for him. In a vivid description of medical brinkmanship, Galen

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